Having been formed by suburban teen punk Robert Smith in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1978, prevailing goth-rock legends the Cure marked their 40th anniversary with a show in London’s Hyde Park.
This pristine, few-frills widescreen account by the group’s loyal chronicler and promo director Tim Pope captures them in fine musical form and bathed in caramel sunlight. The daytime start is somewhat at odds with the Cure’s dark, growling brand of whistleable existential doubt, although you’re never far away from an upbeat hit like Friday I’m in Love, Close to Me or Boys Don’t Cry between the powerfully morose, synth-driven workouts that typify their back catalogue.
Delight darts across the faces of the band members – crow-like bassist Simon Gallup, raffish keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, hard-working drummer Jason Cooper and guitarist Reeves Gabrels, the former Bowie sideman who replaced Porl “Pearl” Thompson in 2012 – but Smith remains the focus, comfortably tubby and grey of thatch, but oddly mesmeric in his self-hugging awkwardness.
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Playing a longer set than their subsequent two-hour 2019 Glastonbury headlining slot, this surely puts the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted Cure in that same legendary bracket as a twilight-years Rolling Stones-in-waiting.
The Cure: Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park London arrives in cinemas on Thursday 11 July